The works of Horace, who lived during the reign of Augustus, were read in schools already in Classical Antiquity. As this manuscript shows, this function continued right up into the Middle Ages.
Msc.Class.32 contains all works by Horace and is an exemplary case of a manuscript used for teaching in the cathedral school of Bamberg. The codex is filled with copious annotations and has been heavily used: The parchment is worn, many leaves are incomplete or entirely lost.
The opening shows the beginnung of the ‚Carmen saeculare‘. This poem, a prayer to the gods, was commissioned by emperor Augustus and was recited in public by a choir of 54 boy and girls during the anniversary celebrations in the year 17 B.C. The religious ceremony marked the end of decades of social unrest and public war and extended over three days. It served as an ostentatious signal for a new age of peace and stability which had commenced with Augustus’s establishment as sole ruler.